His comments come as England and Wales go back to work after the festive break and schools start to return amid concerns they could be shut down by the spread of omicron.
Ministers will meet to finalise plans to keep the economy, hospitals and schools running by fast-tracking tests for up to 10 million “critical” workers through their employers.
For many, the start to the working year begins like the last one – from home. Senior Feature Writer Joe Shute explores how home-working could be to the detriment of minds, bodies and careers.
In other developments:
Ex-Silicon Valley star is found guilty of fraud
Elizabeth Holmes was early today convicted of four counts of fraud and conspiracy for turning her blood-testing startup Theranos into a sophisticated sham. After a lengthy trial, the 37-year-old former CEO described by prosecutors as a charlatan obsessed with fame and fortune could now face up to 20 years in prison for each count. She was convicted of duping investors into believing her company had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. Read more about the case that provided a detailed look inside one of the go-to moves of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs – conveying a boundless optimism regardless of whether it is warranted, known as “fake it ’til you make it”.
Attenborough’s brush with an ‘aggressive’ cactus
His new TV programme aims to show that plants are just as aggressive as animals. And Sir David Attenborough has the war wounds to prove it – after being stabbed by a cactus that had needles like glass. As part of filming for The Green Planet, the 95-year-old travelled to California to study the cholla cactus – an “active aggressor”, which is coated in “spicules of glass”. Despite wearing two thick gloves, Sir David described the “painful” moment he ended up on the sharp end of the shards.
Today’s political cartoon
Blower marks the start of the working year with his latest cartoon. Matt is away.
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Prince Andrew | The Duke of York’s accuser was paid $500,000 to settle her claims that she was sexually exploited. In the deal with Jeffrey Epstein, which became public for the first time last night, Virginia Roberts Giuffre agreed not to take any legal action against the billionaire – or anyone connected to him – after filing a suit in which she alleged she had been sexually exploited by “royalty”. The document from 2009 is at the heart of Prince Andrew’s attempt to have the civil sexual abuse case against him dismissed, which a New York judge will hear today.
Around the world: Democracy in Sudan on the brink
Sudan’s transition to democracy has been dealt a major blow as the prime minister resigned after failing to reach an agreement with military coup leaders to form a government ahead of elections. Campbell MacDiarmid reports that the resignation of Abdalla Hamdok, a respected economist and former United Nations official, raises the prospect of bloodshed if security forces respond violently to protesters demanding civilian rule.